Is Xbox changing the dynamics of F2P games?

, League of and all the other live service games from are landing in Xbox Game Pass at the end of the year. For the duration of your membership, all Agents and Champions will be unlocked to you. When I heard this info at the Xbox and Bethesda showcase, my jaw almost dropped with joy – and yet I probably won’t take up the tempting offer. For me as an old League bunny, it’s just not worth it. Still, it’s extremely interesting to see how this new concept could change the world of free-to-play

The arduous path to all 160+ champions

is a game that has accompanied me through my life for as long as no other. Since the release of Yasuo – in 2013, that is – I’ve been hanging out with friends in League on a regular basis. Back then, instead of blue essences, there was EP and already well over 115 playable champions. I didn’t want to and couldn’t spend money on buying the heroes back then. So I saved up the influence points for a few weeks until I could buy my first two champions – Quinn and Lulu.

Sluggishly, despite many, many hours of play, my collection has become larger. At some point I had all 151 champions (I almost said Pokémon) together. With the following nine, I could relax on my large pile of blue essences. It only took a couple of years, after all. Members of the Xbox Game Pass will soon be spared this

My god, did I put a lot of lifetime into League of Legends. Still, I remember exactly my first champions and my first skins.

Xbox Game Pass makes up for a big disadvantage

It costs a total of 650,000 Blue Essences to buy all the Champions – or over 130,000 Riot Points, which is about 700 euros. Over the years, it’s gotten more and more, and it’s likely to continue that way for a while. For newcomers, this creates a seemingly insurmountable hurdle. When are you supposed to catch up on everything without having to dig deep into your pocket? Sure, there’s a free champion rotation every week, but to have a usable pool to work with reasonably during the pick-and-ban phase, that’s not nearly enough. And that’s where Game Pass comes in.

Instead of losing motivation after a few weeks as a new player or not starting at all, it is now possible to enter the game without this disadvantage. Just as if you, like most other players, had already put many years into the MOBA. Even if Game Pass users get as a gift what I had to work for years for, I don’t think it’s unfair. Quite the opposite, because only with the same basic requirements can players meet each other on an equal footing and compare their skills

In League of Legends, it can make a big difference which champion you play. Missing a tank and you don’t have one? Awkward.

Of course, this doesn’t just apply to League of Legends. In many competitive games that have existed for a long time, this problem exists – even if it is not equally severe in every game. Not everywhere is the countering of certain characters or special team compositions essential. With Game Pass, this inconvenient circumstance could be circumvented and a new model for free-to-play games could be created at the same time. And League of Legends, Valorant and Co. could only be the beginning;

A concept for the future?

I affectionately call it “free-to-play with certain perks” and in my mind it just makes sense. You’re targeting players who don’t have the time or nerve for the grind, maybe even coming from another time-intensive title, and would have to start completely from scratch again. Young gamers, who simply can’t start playing until well over ten years after the game’s release due to their age, also belong to this target group. All of these gamers are offered an optimal entry-level solution – and the other advantages of Game Pass right on top of it. Xbox, on the other hand, has other big names with which the company can promote its Game Pass and attract new members

Here are all the bonuses Game Pass players will receive for Riot Games’ titles for the duration of their subscription.

Presumably, players’ Riot and Xbox accounts will be linked for this, and the free champions will be revoked after membership. By then, the player has accumulated enough blue essence to pick up a few of his favorite champions. Since he had the opportunity to test all of them, he should thus know for sure which ones he likes and suits him. I strongly assume that players will keep the blue essences even after the subscription ends, since they are not directly part of the offer.

For those who already own all Champions, the offer is not worth it. If you are new to the game or have the Game Pass anyway, Riot Games serves a real feast – all you can play. And it’s free, too. But only virtually, because the price for the Game Pass should not be forgotten here, of course. After about 4.5 years, you might as well have bought all the champions. But you have to stick with it for that long. With all the toxic players and the many other games clamoring for your attention, that’s not a given

In any case, I’m excited to see where this concept goes and if we’ll soon see more e-sports titles end up in Xbox Game Pass or other subscription models with such a “F2P+” offering.


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